Intermedia: A few initial thoughts


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An outline of my PhD proposal that looks at the different ways that I will go about understanding Intermedia.

  • Dear Dr Flux,

    I'm honoured that you're interested in my work! If you'd like to find out more about what I'm currently working on you can visit my blog at . Sadly due to funding difficulties progress has been quite slow, but I'm really enjoying the Flux world that you know so well!


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  • Very interesting James would like to exchange ideas and find out more on your dissertation, especially on your thoughts about the relation between Intermedia and Fluxus.

    Owen F. Smith
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Intermedia: A few initial thoughts

  1. 1. intermedia<br />
  2. 2. George Brecht (1962) Solo for Violin, Cello or Contrabass<br />
  3. 3. Philip Corner (1962) Piano Activities<br />
  4. 4. Dick Higgins (1964) Fluxus Street Performance [photo by George Maciunas]<br />
  5. 5. Intermedia<br />James Clegg<br />
  6. 6. (Ingold and Hallum 2007)<br />
  7. 7. A ‘Forward Reading’ of Creativity<br />Temporal<br />Relational<br />Generative<br />‘It is the way we work…’<br />Le Corbusier (1928) Villa Savoye<br />
  8. 8.
  9. 9. The Everyday<br />“It’s fairly well known that for the last thirty years my main work as an artist has been located in activities and contexts that don’t suggest art in any way. Brushing my teeth, for example, in the morning when I’m barely awake; watching in the mirror the rhythm of my elbow moving up and down...”<br />(Kaprow 1986)<br />
  10. 10. art<br />Everyday life<br />
  11. 11. On Intermedia: “When art is only one of several possible functions a situation may have, it loses its privileged status and becomes, so to speak, a lowercase attribute.” (Kaprow 1971, p.105)<br />
  12. 12. Materiality<br />“The intermedial response can be applied to anything – say, an old glass. The glass can serve the geometrist [sic] to explain ellipses; for the historian it can be an index of the technology of a past age; for a painter it can become part of a still life, and the gourmet can use it to drink his Chateau Latour 1953”<br />“We are not used to thinking like this, all at once, or nonhierarchically, but the intermedialist does it naturally. Context rather than category. Flow rather than work of art.”<br />(Ibid p.105)<br />
  13. 13.
  14. 14. objects<br />things<br />
  15. 15. Institutional Art<br />intermedia<br />
  16. 16. Institutional Art<br />Cornelia Parker (1991) Cold Dark Matter<br />
  17. 17. Frozen Objects and Fixed Things<br />“Where there is no visible action there can be no play.”<br />(Huizinga 1955, p.166)<br />
  18. 18. “The goal or aspiration of much of the tradition of Western thought has been directed towards the establishment of meaning and presence as an outgrowth of fixed abstract essences or higher conceptual ideals. Fluxus, however, rejects this tradition and posits instead a view of the world and its operations which celebrates an absence of a higher meaning or a unified conceptual framework while simultaneously stressing the act of this very celebration.” <br />(Smith 1992, p.116) <br />
  19. 19. Hannah Higgins (2002)<br />
  20. 20. “Fluxus materials are useful in … an emancipatory sense – not because they construct political ideologies but rather because they provide contexts… for primary experiences.” <br />(Higgins 2002, p.58)<br />
  21. 21. Presence <br />Absence<br />
  22. 22. “… to insist that primary experience is paramount in Fluxus counters any move to assign specific and permanent meanings to the work.”<br />(Ibid p.59)<br />
  23. 23.
  24. 24. Intermedia<br />
  25. 25. Inter…<br />“I cannot … name work which has consciously been placed in the intermedium between painting and shoes.” (Higgins 1965)<br />
  26. 26.
  27. 27.
  28. 28. Different conditions for intermedia now…<br />“The idea that a painting is made of paint on canvas or that sculpture should not be painted seems characteristic of the kind of social thought – categorizing and dividing society…” <br />(Higgins 1965)<br />
  29. 29. Does every artist now make intermedia?<br />What “position” could intermedia have today?<br />
  30. 30. (Taken from Latour 1993, p.11)<br />
  31. 31. De Certeau 1988<br />
  32. 32. Yuriko Saito (2007) everyday aesthetics<br />
  33. 33. How should boundaries be drawn around the contemporary sources I analyze?<br />What methodologies might I use to ‘analyze’ intermedial works?<br />What academic field will this work best be suited for?<br />Can intermedia be considered a ‘discipline’ and can it really be considered to have a future?<br />
  34. 34. References<br />